Book Review: In the End by Demitria Lunetta

In the End by Demitria Lunetta
Release Date: June 24, 2014
Publisher: HarperTeen
Genre: Young Adult Sci-fi, Young Adult Post Apocalyptic
ISBN: 9780062105486
Source: Bought
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The thrilling conclusion to In the After, the survival story of Amy and Baby, set in a near future where Earth has been overrun by vicious, predatory creatures.

It’s been three months since Amy escaped New Hope, and she’s been surviving on her own, like she did in the After. Until one day, her former fellow Guardian’s voice rings out in her earpiece. And in a desperate tone, Kay utters the four words Amy had hoped she would never hear: Dr. Reynolds has Baby.

Now it’s a race against time, for Baby is in imminent danger, her life threatened by the malevolent doctor who had helped start the end of the world. In order to save Baby, Amy must make her way to Fort Black, a prison-turned-survivor-colony, where she will need to find Ken, Kay’s brother. He alone holds the key to Baby’s survival.

One small slip-up on this quest could spark a downward spiral that would not only cost Baby and Amy their lives, but threaten the very survival of the people in the After.

In the End was just as gripping as In the After, one of my favorite reads of the year, making this one of my favorite series read this year and ever. In the After stayed with me everyday after until In the End showed up in the mail and now I’ve got both of these books lingering in my mind, possibly forever, and I’m totally okay with that.

If you thought following Amy was fascinating before, you haven’t seen anything yet. In the End is engrossing from the very first line. Take some time out to read this before you open it up because once you start, you won’t be able to put it down. Loneliness befriends Amy but not long enough for her to go crazy. With the news that Dr. Reynolds has Baby, Amy must head to Fort Black and seek out the only person she knows can help her retrieve Baby from New Hope but the people she encounters in Fort Black? Boy oh boy! I don’t typically find myself talking to characters or shouting or laughing a disturbing laugh while reading – okay, maybe a little bit of the latter – but this book brought every single emotion out of me. Talk about an interactive experience, ha ha. I was definitely, physically and verbally rooting for and against many of the characters that Amy faced in Fort Black.

Jacks was just what Amy needed and Amy was just what Jacks needed. That was lovely to see. And even though it took awhile to be reunited with Baby and Kay, one of those reunions not playing out how Amy anticipated, the journey to the end was fascinating and the end was well worth it. Every decisions and move Amy made was so important and moved not just the story but Amy’s spirit and those around her in a hopeless world. What a powerful message. Amy constantly had to decide whether to use caution, help, befriend, or defend herself against the human beings she came in contact with every step of the way, even when she finally made it back to New Hope. There were some awfully terrifying moments but Amy pushed through. I loved that so much.

Can we talk about Fort Black for a second? What a setting! And that’s it. That was a second. I can’t say anymore, for fear that I will spoil the reveal for you. It’s a good one. Okay, here’s a hint. I thought I’d seen it all with say, a setting from The Walking Dead. But no. No, I hadn’t. Lunetta takes what’s already terrible and manages to make it even worse. Let’s just say that if The Walking Dead were on, say, HBO or Showtime, maybe a certain setting would have been just as disturbing as this. I also must mention the sexism and entitlement among the men in Fort Black… that blew me away. The gall. It’s amazing how inhuman humans can be when given the chance to show who they really are.

As for New Hope? Well. Rice wasn’t all that memorable to me romantically in In the After so I was shocked that the romantic elements were played up between Rice and Amy in In the End. To me, he was always a really good friend who helped Amy out when it mattered most. I actually felt more connected to Jacks and Amy’s romantic ties than Rice and Amy. It seems to be that things worked out the way that I had hoped when it comes to Amy’s love life but honestly, it’s the beginning of the end of the world as they know it. As we saw, a lot can happen in just a few short months. There’s no telling where Amy, Rice, Jacks, and everyone else will be down the line. All I can say is that I sure will be thinking about them years from now, wondering where they’re at in this fictional world. And oh. If you thought Dr. Reynolds was delusional before, you’re right and you still don’t even know the half of it. Not until you get to the end. And boy oh boy, what a sick revelation that was!

There’s so much that will stay with me from these books. Everything, on the surface. Everything from the heart. Just. Everything. The characters. Good and bad and in between. Every intention. Every action. Every right. Every wrong. Every emotion evoked. The world. The stakes. Oh, the stakes. Every single thing about this series is exceptional. I love it all. Most of all, I loved that this is a story about holding onto hope and love and brushing aside fear and taking a stand. I don’t think this review will do this story justice because all I can do is marvel at the execution of this story. I loved the pacing. I clung to the cliffhangers and revelations at the end of every chapter. Everything was perfect. Everything. I fear if I go on, I won’t be able to stop so if you want an INCREDIBLE post apocalyptic story and someone to talk about it with after, get this series and come talk to me afterwards! I will be here!

In the End by Demitria Lunetta is available today.